WWE Money in the Bank was this past weekend, and there are a lot of mixed reactions regarding the show. There were some definite high moments, and some moments that, well, they tried. What was supposed to be a stadium show originally was relegated to a B Premium Live Event in both planning and execution by WWE.
Money in the Bank suffered greatly from not having Cody Rhodes, Roman Reigns, or Brock Lesnar on the card. Before tearing his pectoral, Rhodes was the favorite to capture the men’s briefcase and cash it in for Wrestlemania next year. When the show was moved to a smaller venue due to poor ticket sales, the chances of Reigns or Lesnar appearing on the card vanished.
Despite the lack of top-end star power, there were still some memorable moments from the Money in the Bank Premium Live Event. Let’s grade it!
Women’s Money In The Bank Ladder Match
Becky Lynch vs. Shotzi vs. Raquel Rodriguez vs. Asuka vs. Liv Morgan vs. Lacey Evans vs. Alexa Bliss
The women’s Money in the Bank match kicked off the show, and it lasted less than 18 minutes. There were some decent spots in that time, but there were some significant botches and misses, too. Leading the way in that category was Shotzi, who did not have her best night, and Raquel Rodriguez, who failed to look strong in a spot specifically designed to make her look really strong.
Becky Lynch and Asuka had some nice moments that continued their current feud, and Liv Morgan delivered in a nice spot at the end to get in position to get the briefcase. After knocking Lynch to the mat, Liv Morgan grabbed the briefcase and became the newest Ms. Money in the Bank.
This was a crowd pleasing finish, as the fans in the arena were solidly behind Liv Morgan. This is just the start of a good night for her. Perhaps you’ve heard this, but briefcase holders have an 85% success rate when cashing in.
That’s called foreshadowing.
United States Championship: Theory (c) vs. Bobby Lashley
Leave it to WWE to book themselves into a corner. Hell, half the fun of watching WWE TV now is seeing how they will get out of the predicaments they write themselves into.
In this situation, you have Bobby Lashley, who has been on a fantastic run these past couple of years. How can he lose to a still young Theory without looking considerably weaker? On the other hand, WWE is clearly strapping Theory to a rocket ship, so why would he lose so early on in his United States championship reign?
Especially with a maybe, possibly, potentially rumored match against Super Cena looming at SummerSlam.
Well, I have to say, their solution (by the end of the night) was…interesting. It even stands to be OK to good, if they tell the story well.
All you need to know for now is that Bobby Lashley won. Clean. The story told in the match was well done as well. Lashley looked like a powerhouse just waiting for the moment to finally get his hands on Theory. The champion, meanwhile, played the role of cocky arrogant “millennial” quite well, playing up his ability to evade and escape Lashley’s attacks.
Until Bobby caught him.
There were many moments that I thought Theory was surely retaining, all the way up to when Lashley got Theory in the Hurt Lock and Theory tapped out. When you can keep me guessing, that means I’m entertained. It wasn’t a perfect match by any means, but it did exactly what it needed to do for everyone involved.
Raw Women’s Championship: Bianca Belair (c) vs. Carmella
If you listen to Pro Wrestling Weekly, you probably know that I am not a huge fan of Carmella. It’s nothing personal. Something – whatever it is – just doesn’t connect with me. That said, Carmella was good in this match. Her actions were completely consistent with her character, and Corey Graves on the call adds to the whole experience.
The biggest problem with this match was one glaring issue. No one, and I mean absolutely no one anywhere that’s ever heard of professional wrestling (or sports entertainment) thought that Carmella was going to win this match. Really, absolutely no one. When your audience has zero sense of suspense going in, it is almost impossible to get them engaged in what you’re doing.
None of that is really the fault of Bianca Belair or Carmella. After the injury to Rhea Ripley, this match got thrown together quickly and at the relative last minute. There wasn’t a lot of time to build Carmella as a threat.
There were some good moments in this match, but it was lacking in memorable moments. Bianca is a great champion and is one of the most talented performers in WWE right now. When she loses, it will be at a big event against an A-list talent. Unfortunately, neither Money in the Bank nor Carmella fit those criteria right now.
Men’s WWE Unified Tag Team Championships: The Usos (c) vs. The Street Profits
WWE’s tag team division has really bounced back nicely after a few rough years last decade. Teams like The Usos, The Street Profits, The New Day, The Viking Raiders, and more have revitalized the division. In some cases, these rivalries have resulted in teams knowing each other so well that they can deliver quality matches at almost any time.
That’s exactly what happened at Money in the Bank.
For the first ten minutes or so, The Usos and Street Profits had a good wrestling match filled with classic tag team wrestling. The heels cut the ring in half, the faces take a beating and can’t get to their partner, and so on. Once the first crucial tag was made by The Street Profits, the match pace and intensity got turned up to the maximum.
Finishers were everywhere and high spots were plenty. The Vegas crowd was heavily invested in the match – at one point, they were chanting “fight forever” while the four had a stare down about 2/3 of the way through the match. This was exceptional tag team wrestling executed by two teams that know each other very well.
There are rumors of The Street Profits breaking up soon, with Montez Ford getting a hard singles push. I hope WWE can find a way to have the team stay intact similar to what happened with The New Day. They’re too good and too fun to break up.
A shenanigans fueled finish to the match suggests that these four will get together once again at SummerSlam. I’m 100% in.
Smackdown Women’s Championship: Ronda Rousey (c) vs. Natalya
Similar to the Raw Women’s Championship match, no one thought the challenger had a real shot to win here. Despite that, Rousey and Natalya told an interesting story in a physical match. While it was short, this match would prove to be memorable.
The key story element here is what Ronda Rousey had to endure to defeat the submission specialist. Over the course of the match, Ronda injured her right leg, which she sold throughout the remainder of the match.
In the end, Rousey countered the sharpshooter into the cross armbreaker and Natalya tapped out. A battered Rousey was relieved that she had survived a physical match as she struggled to stand.
But we weren’t done there. Liv Morgan’s music hit, and the newest Money in the Bank winner came sprinting to the ring.
Liv Morgan was cashing in the briefcase on the very same night that she won the case.
We got a bit of a curveball when it looked like Liv might have a short lived, failed attempt. Rousey applied the ankle lock which looked like it might make Morgan tap out until she kicked out at Rousey’s bad leg and Ronda went down. Morgan then executed a devastating surprise rollup to win in less than 30 seconds.
Grade: B-. Can’t any women’s Money in the Bank winner hold on to the briefcase for longer than 24 hours? A cool moment for Liv Morgan though.
Men’s Money In The Bank Ladder Match
Riddle vs. Seth Rollins vs. Omos vs. Madcap Moss vs. Drew McIntyre vs. Sheamus vs. Sami Zayn
Wait, wait, it’s Adam Pierce. Suddenly, we have an additional entrant. Theory is also now in the Money in the Bank match.
It’s good to know the right people.
There was a lot of standard fare for a men’s Money in the Bank match here. McIntyre and Sheamus don’t like each other. Seth Rollins was foiled by Riddle, who just so happens to be the same person that Rollins attacked on Raw last week. I wonder if anything will come of it?
Sami Zayn was great early, looking like the opportunistic entrant who had no honor. Zayn hiding behind the ring post while Omos wrecked everyone else was fantastic.
The spot where all the entrants piled ladders on top of Alexa Bliss last year worked so well that WWE decided to do it again this year with Omos. Seriously, why does anyone think that piling a few ladders on top of someone will keep them down? Especially someone the size and strength of Omos?
Speaking of Omos, he looked like he didn’t want anything to do with climbing the ladder. Poor dude. Granted, it’s a WWE ladder match, so everyone involved has forgotten how climbing ladders works. And don’t get me started on those sophisticated devices holding the briefcase. But Omos made the others look efficient at ladder climbing in comparison. He really didn’t want any part of that.
However, the spot where everyone hit him with power moves then six of them worked together to throw him into the announcer desk was great. Unlike the ladders thing, this looked like it would hurt and could take Omos out of the match.
From the moment Adam Pierce announced Theory as a surprise extra entrant to the match, we all knew he was going to win. And he did. The good news is that there are a few potential directions WWE can go with this. Hopefully it leads to some intriguing storytelling in the coming weeks and months.
Overall, Money in the Bank was…okay. It wasn’t their best, but I will admit I’ve seen far worse premium live events from WWE.
What did you think? Let us know in the comments!
- THE GOOD
- The tag team match between The Usos and The Street Profits was phenomenal
- Nice cash-in moment for Liv Morgan
- The men’s MITB match was good enough
- Theory vs. Bobby Lashley was even better than expected
- THE BAD
- The women’s MITB match was disappointing in execution
- Too many matches had no suspense
Money in the Bank isn’t the best premium live event of 2022, but there are enough good things in it to make it worth three hours of your time.
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